The Joys of Socialized Medicine

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Put another feather in the cap of Socialism. Now, patient in the U.K. will have to quit smoking for four weeks before surgery. You see, since smokers' generally take longer to recover from surgery, they cost the system more. With socialized medicine, they cannot simply charge for the extra time. So they refuse care instead. I'm sure this will, as one commenter said, extend to requiring one to go on a diet before surgery.

And four weeks!! When an operation is necessary in the U.S., it might be four days away, but not four weeks. Such is the beauty of the health care system our Socialist, a.k.a. Democrat, Party wants for the United States. The father of one fellow I know in the U.K. waited two years for surgery on his hand. Shortly before his operation, he was told that, because he did not need his hand for his work, he would not be getting the surgery. He is now saving his money to fly to the U.S. for the surgery, which he will pay for himself. The socialists among us would take even that hope away from him.

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Roci said:

They must not know many smokers. Most smokers would just lie about having abstained for four weeks. It is not like they will be able to check on them.

The thing abouot self-destructive addictive behaviors is that you don't just give them up because some government helath nazi tells you to.

stay puft said:

I once had surgery and they said I couldn't eat for eight hours ahead of time. EIGHT HOURS!

oh wait, what's the life expectancy in the UK? oh, it's 78.8. What is it in the US? oh, it's 78. What's the infant mortality rate in the UK? 5.01/1000. In the US? Oh look, it's 6.37/1000

oh, and it looks like most countries with socialized medicine are generally healthier than the US.

so you prefer being sicker? ...must be some kind of mental disorder.

(and here I thought it was liberalism that was making us sick)

Jack said:

Roci -- read the article. They will be doing blood tests.

Puffalump -- I assume you're joking about the eight hours, and that you do know why they do that.

As for life expectancy, the Hispanic life expectancy in the U.S. is about 5 years less than for non-Hispanic Whites ( ). Similarly, the Black life expectancy is also 5 years less than for non-Hispanic Whites ( ). So, to take the Hispanic rate out of the White rate, we assume that 12% of the country is Hispanic, and 12% Black. Doing a little algebra, of which I assume you are capable, puts the non-Hispanic White life expectancy at 79.2 years, which is higher than the U.K.'s 78.8 years.

Now let's do the same for infant mortality. Fortunately, it has already been done: In 2004, the non-Hispanic White infant mortality rate is 5.7 per 1000.

Of course, you don't quote any sources, but the UK put their infant mortality rate for 2004 at, astonishingly, 5.7 per 1000 ( ), exactly the same as our non-Hispanic White rate!!

Perhaps you might consider a course or two in algebra and statistics before you try using them in your arguments.

Jack said:

I almost forgot, the age-adjusted death rates for Whites in the U.S. is spot-on with the England-Wales rate:

stay puft said:

o my god. how are you going to disregard the life expectancy for non-whites like they don't count? yeah, I'm going to go ahead and say it: that's blatantly racist

then you go and act like you're an expert statistician. yeah, great job! nice random sample of the population. if we only take into account the life expectancy for people who live more than 100 years, we find that the life expectancy in the US is over 100, which is Much Higher than the 78.8 years people live in the UK! dork.

i was using the cia factbook

Roci said:

Good use of numbers Jack.

I would also mention that there is a big difference in reporting of medical statistics in the USA and abroad.

Testing or not, i still expect them to lie.

How many smokers do you know that can give it up for four weeks (short of being in confinement)?

Roci said:

stay puft,
THe validity of not counting hispanic stats is ties to the percentage of them that are not US citizens and so should not count against our mortality rates. They are in fact a transplanted third world community, with life expectancies that take into account their third world customs, health practices, and earning ability here.

But i think the real issue here is that there is no uniform infant mortality data collection internationally, so any comparison between countries is futile.

Jack said:

Puffy -- the point is that that the racial makeup of the U.K. is considerably different than that of the United States, and that racial makeup does have a considerable impact on the numbers.

These numbers are NOT poverty-related:

Interestingly enough, being over-weight does not seem to affect Blacks as it does Whites: So that's not an answer, either.

The fact is that race is a factor in death rates and infant mortality, and income is not the reason. As such, to do a fair comparison between the U.K. and the U.S., race must be factored out.

When did the truth become racist, or is that just the standard reaction to any race-related facts that liberals do not like?

StayPuft --

U.S. life expectancies are lower because of our high-fat diet and sedentary lifestyle. You can see life expectancies in countries like Japan flattening out as they adopt more of our diet and lifestyle.

Instead of comparing apples and oranges (or in this case sushi and Big Macs) the truth about IRS-style health care is told by common denominator, such as waiting lists, availability of treatments and death rates from common illnesses.

Here in the United States, fewer than one out of five women diagnosed with breast cancer die. That number increases to one in three in France and Germany and one out of two in the Britain and New Zealand.

As for men diagnosed with prostate cancer, less than one of five die in the U.S. Compare that to one out four in Canada, one of of two in France and more than half in the UK.

The truth about so-called "universal health care" is that an IRS-style health care system creates longer waits, higher costs, substandard care and HIGHER death rates.

In countries with IRS-style "universal" systems, fewer kidney patients get necessary dialysis than here in the US and fewer heart patients get the necessary surgery.

In Great Britain the wait for cancer treatment is so long, one out of every five people diagnosed with treatable colon cancer will die because their cancer becomes terminal by the time their turn eventually comes for treatment.

Face the facts. Socialized medicine kills.

stay puft said:

Donny, where'd you get those numbers?

I'm assuming that, unlike Jack and Roci, you didn't just pull them out of your ass.

OK, calling someone racist is my standard response to someone being racist. You're claiming that it's not a lack of universal health care that makes us sicker, it's the blacks and hispanics who drive down our life expectancy because of their genetic or cultural inferiority.

Kevin said:

"How many smokers do you know that can give it up for four weeks (short of being in confinement)?"

first of all, if you give it up for 4 weeks are you really a smoker?

Also, me.

You can find the numbers by calculating the death rates reported by the CDC, British NHS, etc.

Do you really believe we'll all be healthier if we convert our health care system into an IRS-style bureaucracy run by the same people who gave us Agent Orange, Indian reservations and the DMV?

Jack said:

Puffalump, I did not give a REASON that Blacks and Hispanics pull down the life expectancies, I only said that they did. YOU made the WHY assumption, which you then transferred to me, and accused me of being a racist. (Just when I was about to do a piece recommending Richardson for the Democratic nomination. I guess since I'm a racist, I'm not allowed to do that now.) In fact, I even mentioned that obesity does NOT affect Blacks as it does Whites, which would seem to me to indicate some genetic superiority in that regard.

Jack said:

Puffalump -- I have given links for ALL of my numbers. You have given none. So who's pulling numbers out of his ass?

stay puft said:

you're unbelievable Jack.

you really think it's reasonable to pick and choose who gets figured in when calculating life expectancy?

I guess the only way we'll ever get a truly accurate life expectancy for the US is to wait and see how long you live.

you really think that life expectancies can't be compared across countries because of differences in racial/ethnic makeup?

it's a convenient cop-out so you don't have to address the fact that the populations of countries with socialized medicine are healthier overall.

there's also all kinds of studies linking income and life expectancy, and what, one guy who says there's no connection?

if you can't figure out google, let me know and I'll link to a few


"the same people who gave us Agent Orange, Indian reservations and the DMV"

unless you're referring to Santa and his elves, I have know idea who you're talking about.

Jack said:

"you really think it's reasonable to pick and choose who gets figured in when calculating life expectancy?"


"I guess the only way we'll ever get a truly accurate life expectancy for the US is to wait and see how long you live."

That is the stupidest thing I've heard from you in a while, puffalump. First, I am not individually representative of the United States, and my life expectancy when I die will be precicely zero. In fact, that's not an expectancy at all, but a certainty, and it will still have no bearing on the life expectancy of other Americans who are my age at the time of my death.

"you really think that life expectancies can't be compared across countries because of differences in racial/ethnic makeup?"

No, they can be compared by the method by which I just compared them -- by normalizing by race. Statisticians do such normalizations routinely. I again suggest you invest in some algebra and statistics classes before making a bigger fool of yourself.

"it's a convenient cop-out so you don't have to address the fact that the populations of countries with socialized medicine are healthier overall."

Donny and I have provided evidence against your hypothosis, and you have presented none in favor of it. If you cannot do that, shut up.

"if you can't figure out google, let me know and I'll link to a few"

I have provided links to all of my numbers. You have provided none. It seems you are unfamiliar with Google. Myself, rarely use Google since their caving to the Chinese. I use Clusty ( ) -- it has the advantage of clustering your search results into sub-topics. Is there any chance you're using the Chinese version of Google, so you only see data that makes the socialist countries look good?

Santa gave us the DMV?

Funny Pseudonym said:

Ah I see, I forgot we don't have any ethnic minorities here in the UK.

I live in a small town however am based in a large teaching hospital for the local city. We have a good 25% of the local population being deemed non-Caucasian.

As for the original article, well firstly smoking doesn’t just mean longer in-patient times it also increases surgical complication rates and respiratory complication rates (don’t forget DVT/ PE/ MI and CVA rates depending on surgery).

Seems to me rather than being “health Nazi’s” it’s about doing the best for your patient.

The hand op, well depends what it was, if he was in the waiting list in the last few years then he would have had the op well within 2 years (was an operation that was deemed cosmetic/ non-functional?).
As for having to fly to the US for surgery, we the “socialists” don’t take that option away, there is always private medical services in the UK and Europe…America a place where if you can’t afford medication your screwed…I think I will stick with the NHS for a while yet.

Jack said:

"Seems to me rather than being 'health Nazis' it’s about doing the best for your patient."

So, denying medical care to those who cannot quit smoking is "doing the best for your patient?"

The hand operation was functional. He cannot use that hand at all.

Hiliary's health care plan would have made such private medical services illegal. Those socialists are the one's I'm talking about. Assuming what you say is true, then the wealthy get good health care there, and everyone else is at the mercy of the State.

As for America, even the poor get care here. That's why our hospitals are going into bankruptcy -- they are being forced to care for illegal immigrants.

Kevin said:

"to those who cannot quit smoking"

Who can't quit?

Jack said:

Ask the people who sue the tobacco companies for their addiction.

Kevin said:

Are you ready to argue for harm redux?

Jack said:

I don't follow you, Kevin. Please elaborate.

Har Noah Neemus said:

"The life expectancy for white Scots is currently 78 years for women and 73 for men.

However, those figures fall to 65 and 62 respectively for those of Pakistani origin living in the country, and drop to an average of 58 for Indian men."

Our non-whites have a much greater disparity than the 5years you mention for the white / non-white Americans. (Not even mentioning that Scotland has the lowest life expectancy in the UK). So if you're going to be rascist at least have the courtesy to be even-handedly rascist.

The NHS is creeping towards commercialisation regardless - apparently wishing our subjects to behold the modern age wonders of spiraling costs and plummeting coverage enjoyed by our transatlantic cousins. This "no-smoking" edict is a cost-cutting measure, some of the early fruit born by that misguided folly. It's not an indictment of state-provided healthcare; in fact, the opposite.

The NHS is one thing makes me proud to be British/English, a great and worthy system to give universal access to medicine. Three things should be eternally free from commercial interests - religion, education and health. Making money from any of those is morally contemptible.

Jack said:

Our 79.2 years is still higher. Nonetheless, thank you for the numbers. I was looking for "UK" and "England" numbers, so that article did not come up in my search. Neither could I find what percentage of the population were such ethnic minorities. Do you have those numbers available? I doubt they are on the same level as those in the United States.

Your numbers do reveal something interesting, though. It seems that our capitalist system is doing much better for its minorities than your "free-for-all" socialist system is.

As for spiralling costs, if you give something away, it is no surprise that people take as much as they want, so you have to get more. If more is not available, your costs will go up. Socialism cannot undo the laws of economics, but only transgress them and endure the consequences.

Another cause of spiralling costs is improved outcomes. People are much more likely to survive cancer and heart attacks than they were even a few years ago. These new treatments cost more to develop, and so cost more to the patient.

Your last paragraph is worth of a post in itself:

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